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astronautix.com Vostok-Zh


Class: Manned. Type: Spacecraft. Nation: USSR. Manufacturer: OKB-1.

During the course of 1961 Korolev's OKB-1 worked on design of a reliable manned spacecraft to succeed Vostok. The Soyuz or Sever designs would utilize body lift to reduce G forces and allo the crew to make re-entries at hyperbolic speeds - when returning from the moon, or Mars. On 10 March 1962 Korolev approved the technical project "Complex docking of spacecraft in earth orbit - Soyuz". This draft report envisioned use of an manned orbital tug version of the Vostok capsule to assemble spacecraft in low earth orbit. In one concept a large spacecraft was assembled in earth orbit by a Vostok-Zh (or Vostok-7) manoeuvrable manned satellite, piloted by a 'cosmonaut assemblyman'. The pilot would rendezvous and dock with each component as it reached orbit, then manoeuvre the component to the in-assembly spacecraft. Following completion of assembly, the Vostok would retrofire and the assemblyman would return to earth.

The Vostok-Zh could be used on another mission to assemble a 15 tonne orbital station with the mission of observing the earth. It would consist of three separately-launched blocks: a ZhO living section, BAA scientific apparatus block, and the Soyuz spacecraft itself.

By the end of 1962 the Vostok-Zh approach had been discarded in favor of automatic docking in orbit of the L1 spacecraft and a succession of tankers to fuel a single rocket block.


Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 1. Total Length: 4.5 m. Maximum Diameter: 2.4 m. Total Mass: 4,700 kg. Electrical System: Batteries.


Vostok-Zh Chronology


01 January 1961 Competing designs for a reliable manned spacecraft to succeed Vostok.

The Soyuz or Sever designs would utilize body lift to reduce G forces and allo the crew to make re-entries at hyperbolic speeds - when returning from the moon, or Mars. An associated design was a manned orbital tug version of the Vostok capsule to assemble spacecraft in low earth orbit.


10 March 1962 Soyuz Technical Project approved.

Korolev approved the technical project 'Complex docking of spacecraft in earth orbit - Soyuz'. The Soyuz would first be tested using multiple launches of an R-7 derived rocket. In this concept a large spacecraft was assembled in earth orbit by a Vostok-Zh (or Vostok-7) manoeuvrable manned satellite, piloted by a 'cosmonaut assemblyman'. Following completion of assembly, the Vostok would return to earth. The assembled circumlunar craft would put the L1, with a crew of one to three, on a circumlunar trajectory. The Vostok-Zh could be used on another mission to assemble a 15 tonne OS orbital station with the mission of observing the earth.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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